How is Cataract Surgery Performed?
Step 1: Removing the Cataracts
Traditionally, cataract surgery was done when the cataracts were more matured in a process known as ECCE. The surgery required pain killers, injections and a large wound to remove the cataract in one piece. This would then need sutures (stiches) and therefore prolonged the healing and in earlier cases, hospitlization was required. However, while mosty vision would be restored yet was largely still very poor – a result of a large wound, poor healing and as a result of other underlying eye problems that were hidden by the cataract.
Over the years, with the development of Phacoemulsification (Phaco), cataracts could be performed much earlier, saving the patient’s pain, suffering and enabling patients to have much better vision after surgery. Often described as LASER surgery, phaco is performed in almost all of the cataract surgeries nowadays, except in cases of matured cataracts. However, most of the procedure is still very much manual, and requires a blade to make cuts.
No-Blade Cataract Surgery
Since 2011, Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery (or No-Blade Cataract Surgey) was introduced to complement Phaco by replacing most of the steps done manually while replacing the blade when creating the incisions, and aiding phaco by pre-fragmenting the cataract into smaller pieces. This results in a safe, fast and good cataract surgery, especially for patients implanting premium lenses.
Step 2: Implanting a replacement Intra Ocular Lens (IOL)
Upon removal of the cataract, a basic monofocal IOL is implanted in most cases. This allows the patient to see far, but not near or intermediate range activities such as reading or looking at the car’s dashboard, thus requiring glasses.
Multifocal lenses, such as bifocals and trifocals are available for patients who desire to see without glasses. These allows for a combination of vision, depending on the patients’ needs, without the need for glasses most of the time.